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I love action movies especially those that make me travel across the world in 2 hours. The best examples are James Bond movies as most of the movies scenes take place in different locations. The 2006 Casino Royale took Craig Daniel to the scenic landscapes of Lake Como in Italy. There was also a very special appearance of a stunning villa known as Villa del Balbianello. On my visit of Lake Como, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to step into the world of James Bond for a day.
When travelling, it’s almost impossible to avoid a bit of disappointment. Sometimes, you don’t get the window seat you wanted in the plane, sometimes all your stay is ruined by rain and bad weather and sometimes the most famous attractions in a city are simply a disappointment. I like to visit the most famous monuments a city has to offer so that I know, I’m not missing out anything from my visit. But I only wish, I never visited these 5 monuments in Europe!
Manneken Pis, Brusselsread more…
“Stolpersteine,” or stumbling stones, are present under your feet everywhere you go in Berlin. These golden small palm-sized stones bear the names of those murdered by the Nazis. It reminds me as I walk around Berlin of the dark past of World War II, marking one of the most touching tragedies of our history. Over 60 million people lost their lives around the world including 6 million Jews in Europe. Clearly, the history of Germany will always be associated to those tragedies. However, right now the German Jewish community, most affected by war and genocide, is flourishing again especially in Berlin which hosts many Jewish attractions.
There’s a border between Italy and Switzerland. Although it’s an open border, there are many contrasts between both countries. Even at the closest points like Como and Lugano, it’s very clear that one is Italian and the other is Swiss. However, the most common striking point is that this area is absolutely stunning. So I managed to visit and combine both during a Dolce Vita weekend gateway!
Lebanon offers visa on arrival to many countries. It is bit of grey area on who can visit and get a visa on arrival. Some people try to avoid visas on arrival but I personally like them. They are delivered instantly and there’s no stress of having thousands of documents and leave my passport at the embassy while being processed. As Moroccan, I managed to travel the world with a Moroccan passport but I had to take a dozen of visas but the Lebanon visa is quite simpler. read more…
Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is less known for tourists as it is usually shadowed by Marrakech or nearby Casablanca. It is, however, particularly interesting to visit and in my case, I would even love to live there for few years. My last visit was 2 years ago when I stayed for one night only. Rabat is quiet, peaceful and has tons of things to offer so that’s why I came back for another visit!
I like to get surprised on my trips by discovering things that cannot be found elsewhere. I visited Vilnius for few days. I might have been unlucky with the weather just like my visit to Bordeaux, recently. But I was really fortunate to visit some interesting sights in the capital of Lithuania including the backyard of the Presidential Palace (Prezidentūra, as called by locals), which is used as an office for the Lithuanian president but is open for all on week-ends.
When I wanted to visit Jordan during a one day layover, I had to check the visa policy. As usual, I go on Jordan’s embassy website and check. The list starts from Afghanistan, Algeria, Albania… it’s in alphabetical order. The answer to “Do you need a visa?” is either NO (for visa-free) or YES (for needs visa). I get to the letter M to finally find my country with a special treatment. Some Moroccans need a visa while other Moroccans do not need a visa. This division seems to be based on gender. Yes, men go to Jordan visa-free whilst women under 35 years old require a visa!
Visiting Luxembourg was the easiest and most stress-free trip I’ve ever made. From the moment I land at Luxembourg International Airport to the moment I left. Why? Simply because it’s a small landlocked country and everything is near everything. So I was based in the capital, Luxembourg City, but I took the opportunity to visit Vianden and its majestic castle. The trip overall takes 1 hour with the train, then the bus. I can tell that it’s definitely worth the detour!
In the past, I tried to visit Romania twice without any success. The first time was in 2014 during summer for a student festival in Timisoara but Schengen visa holders could only stay 5 days, so I cancelled. Then last year, I even booked my flights to Bucharest but a visa story again. This third attempt definitely worked. I booked a Monday off at work to enjoy a long weekend in Timisoara and even explore other parts of the region with a day trip to Hunedoara to visit Corvin Castle.